Trying to get your foot in the door of a company is often the only thing preventing you from kick starting your career or finding your dream career.
Have you ever applied for a job that you really wanted and thought to yourself “if only I could convince the hiring manager that I’m the right person for this job, I’d REALLY show them what I am capable of.”
In other words, it sometimes seems that getting the job – getting your foot in the door – is the hardest part. You know that once you got the job though, you’d be fine!
What can you do to get your foot in the door of a company you are interested to work for especially when you’re having trouble moving forward? Here are a few suggestions:
1. Depending on your financial situation, your level of experience and the nature of the job you are looking for, you could offer to work as an intern.
Basically, you work for free for a period of time. The goal here is to at a minimum, gain experience in a company you are interested in. If the company doesn’t have the budget to hire someone, you might offer your time for free in exchange for them giving you some industry experience that you might parlay into a fulltime job if not at this company, somewhere else. This could be a good option if you are trying to switch industries and move to one you have no experience in.
2. Don’t turn down temporary positions if you have no other job to go to at the time.
When I finished university, I moved overseas and it took me a few months to find a job and when I finally found one, it was a temp position with the biggest employer in the company. Initially, I was brought on board for 3 months. 8 months later I was still there and was offered a fulltime position at that time. I ended up getting promoted three times and worked there fulltime for 3 years. Imagine if I’d turned down the temp opportunity at the outset thinking that it wouldn’t lead to anything else? I’d have missed out on a great opportunity that really got my career off to a great start!
3. Consider contract work if it is available.
There are two possible downsides to accepting contract work. First, taking a contract may prevent you from accepting a fulltime job that arises while you are in the middle of the contract unless you can leave your contract early. Second, some employers might be wary of hiring you for a fulltime job if they see a lot of contract jobs on your resume if they think you might end up leaving them to take another contract. Contractors tend to make better money if they are paid on an hourly basis so you can get used to the nice money pretty quickly and fulltime employers know this! Still, working on a contract and earning some money is better than sitting at home waiting for the phone to ring. Plus, a contract might be a way to get your foot in the door and put yourself in the running for a fulltime job with the company.
4. If your financial situation allows for it, you might consider something radical.
If you really want to join a company but they currently have no open position available or if you are interviewing for a job but the hiring manager has stated some reservations about hiring you, you could offer to work for them for free for a period of time, perhaps 30 days. Sort of like a free test drive where the employer can try you out at no cost to them! By offering up your services for perhaps 4 weeks free, you could really show an employer your desire to work for them once you get your foot in the door. You just might open the door a bit and make them try really hard to find a job for you once you show them what you’re capable of.
The effort you exert to get your foot in the door can really pay dividends when your effort is spent on the right opportunity.
Once you get your foot in the door and start to establish yourself, you've often made it past one of the most difficult hurdles career-minded individuals face.
Carl Mueller is an Internet entrepreneur and professional recruiter. Carl has helped many job searchers find their dream career and would like to help clear up some of the job search myths that exist while helping job searchers avoid common job search mistakes that cost them jobs.
Visit Carl's website to find your dream career: http://www.find-your-dream-career.com
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